Source: Grimes-Bryan Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #16
Staff Person: Lynette Lundin
This letter is from the Grimes-Bryan Papers (1808-1924) collection #16.The Grimes-Bryan families were very important in eastern North Carolina. John Herritage Bryan was a lawyer in New Bern and Raleigh. He also served as a US Representative from 1825 to1829. His daughter, Charlotte Emily, married Confederate General Bryan Grimes in 1863; they lived at Grimesland Plantation, in Pitt County. Bryan and Charlotte Grimes had a son named Junius Grimes who married Ida Wharton of Forsyth County. It is probably because of this marriage that this letter is in the collection. The letter tells us about camp life in the early part of the Civil War. B.L. Farabee was part of the 21st N.C. Infantry Regiment at Camp Hill in Danville, Va. He talks about betting on horses and making a blackberry pie. The collection has many letters telling about the Civil War; slavery; marketing cotton and peanuts; and social life in the 19th Century. Other topics mentioned are education, the Confederate flag being made for a Martin County group of solders, courts, Reconstruction and elections in the southern states. This is a wonderful collection; enjoy checking it out. You can find more information here.Manuscript Collection 16 Other related manuscript collections are #54, #147, and #267 in this library.
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A transcription is provided below:
[To A.C. Wharton Jr. Clemmonsville, Davidson County, N.C.]
Camp Hill, Danville
July 7th 1861
I take pleasure this beautiful Sabbath morning to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am enjoying good helath at the present and I hope when you receive these few lines it will find you enjoying the same blessing. Dock I tell you we boys have fines times hear [sic]. I wish you and Henry Douthit was hear [sic] with us for I know you don’t enjoy you selves at home. Our camp is about one mile from Danville situated in a beautiful grove, surrounded on all sids [sic] by good spring and too [sic] or three hundred yards from Dan River whear [sic] we boys have nice sport every evening. Dock whent [sic] over to Danville yesterday evening and seen too [sic] or three horse races which look very nice. They was $25 bet on the first race which run a quarter of a mile. And on the second $100 which run a half a mile on the third $10 only run a quarter of a mile. Dock I supose [sic] you would like to know something a bout our election we have elected Mr. Kirkland for our Col and Capt. Leach for first Lieutenant Col. Our election for officers has not come of yet but I think Lieutenant Moss will be our captain. We have elected Mr. Richardson for our Maj. Ed sends his best respects to you Dock and saids [sic] he is hear [sic] and that we could not do without him fore [sic] he is our clown. I can say that Ed is the liveliest one in camp. R.A. Wommack sends his best compliment to you and the Dr. Marian Eecks [?] sends his respects you!
Dock I can’t say for surtian [sic] when we have to leave hear [sic] some think that we have to leave shortly and others don’t. We will not know untill [sic] Capt. Leach comes back from Raleigh. He left hear [sic] last Wednesday. He will be back some time this week. Their [sic] is some sickness in our camp too [sic] or three of our boys air [sic] sick but not to say dangerous except Phillip Hanes he is very sick has got the Typhoid fever. I understand that Frank Billings has been releas [sic] this morning to go home to see his Mama and Papa. They say he is going derange [sic]. David Pack has ben [sic] release to go home. I rechond [sic] they will start this week. We had a very nice rain last evening which was needed very bad. Dock our fair is rough and we get a plenty of cold meat and bread and a little coffee at morning and evening. I went over the river Friday and pick some blackberries and mad [sic] me a pie. It was the first pie I had since I left Lexington. Dock as soon as you get this letter I want you to answer me back. Give my love to John and Peter and also to the rest of my school mats [sic] tell them howdy for me.
direct you letter in care of Capt. Leach
Excuse all bad spelling and penmanship.
You Sincere Friend